Conservative Members of Parliament are putting pressure on Rishi Sunak to remove his ‘timid’ Chancellor in order to prevent a potential ‘annihilation’ at the upcoming general election. Following recent by-election losses, backbenchers are advising the Prime Minister to take bold action and make significant changes to his Cabinet to avoid electoral disaster. A total of 36 MPs and peers have pledged to not support Mr. Hunt’s autumn statement if it includes tax increases. Additionally, senior parliamentarians are privately advocating for the replacement of the Chancellor with a more radical figure.
Concerns have arisen regarding the Government’s ability to take bold actions following the disappointing outcomes in the Mid Beds and Tamworth elections. The most recent Westminster voting intention poll conducted by Savanta indicates that Labour’s lead is expanding, with Sir Keir Starmer’s party now enjoying a 17-point advantage. These results highlight the growing apprehension that the Government cannot afford to shy away from making decisive moves in order to address the current challenges effectively.
According to a former Cabinet minister, Mr Hunt is not fulfilling the role of a Tory chancellor and a replacement is needed who will not simply follow the advice of civil servants. However, there are concerns that Mr Sunak may only make superficial changes rather than implementing more drastic measures. The source suggests that the current policies being pursued by Rishi and his Chancellor are not likely to lead to electoral success and that a more fiscally conservative Chancellor should be appointed. However, this would contradict Rishi’s current policies.